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Chan Lowe: Spirit starts charging for carry-ons

spirit.gifAnybody who’s ever taken a college Psych 101 course knows what behavior modification is.

The rat in the Skinner box gets to choose between two levers. If pressing one delivers a food pellet, and pressing the other delivers a mild electric shock, you don’t need a Ph.D. to hypothesize how the story is going to turn out.

A few years ago, the airlines started charging extra for checked-in luggage.

The bright-eyed junior exec who dreamed up that revenue stream evidently didn’t take Psych 101, because the obvious consequence was that everybody learned to cram as much as they possibly could into carry-on roller bags that sometimes, but not always, fit in the overhead bins.

Those that didn’t fit were checked at the scene without charge, so the rat/passengers learned they could get away with stuffing in a little extra. Meanwhile, stowing the extra bags ate up precious minutes while exasperated flight attendants shoved, sweated and cursed. Flights got delayed.

So the replacement junior exec⎯who clearly has studied psychology⎯wins a gold star for killing two birds with one stone: Rig the Skinner box levers so they both deliver an electric shock, and generate even more revenue by penalizing those who think they can’t travel without at least a toothbrush and a change of underwear. Bra-VO, future Spirit CEO.

Coming soon: dehydrated clothing.

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I love **insert sarcasm here** the spirit ceo saying that they've lowered prices to make up for the increased fees that they are now charging. Let's see how quickly spirit drops the carry on bag fees WHEN (not if) they raise the prices back up.

I think they may have actually read part of the Psych 101 book though Chan. The part where you can lie to people if you tell them something that hey want to hear to make them feel good about your lie. Spirit telling people that this is being done for their benefit is an outright lie. They are doing it to add fees and make money. The fact that it might speed things up in boarding and de-planing is a consequence (not the reason for doing it).

If all airlines charged for carry-on bags, a consequence would be that airport security lines would be faster so if all the airlines start charging, maybe that'll be the reason that they say their doing it - Charging us to take luggage of any kind on a flight is being done to help us out. By the way, I believe it was spirit that started charging for checked bags initially too. Spirit is a $#!+Y airline and I won't fly them again. You should vote with your wallet and stop flying spirit.

As a person that is on 2 to 4 flights a week , I wish they would ban all carry on bags except for laptops and ladies handbags. Flying has gotten ridiculous as people carry on everything they own and it takes for ever to board and get away from the gate.How ofter have you had someone jam their very large bag against your suit coat ?

I'm sure that soon they will realize they could make even more money by waiting till the plane is above 30,000 feet then asking the passengers to cough up money to operate the compressors that provide pressurized air to breathe...

Your so right..always look forward to your wit and humor.
I heard a short news brief that a British(or Irish airline) were going to install"pay toilets" within the year.! Yipes- What next,?

The difference is us Rats have a choice, we don't have to pull either lever. We simply go and book our flights at another carrier, one who does not nickle and dime us to death. This will be the end of Spirit....

As a flight attendant out on disabilty from job related injury all i can say is ALLELUIA its about time---these people are ridiculous with what they bring on board and then expect us to lift snd cram their bags into the OHB. I expect that most airlines will be looking to see how this experiment will work before they jump on the bandwagon. I say GO SPIRIT for finally doing something right!!

Chan, that junior exec didn't get replaced, he got a big bonus for finding a way to get folks used to add-on fees. he is likely the same one that came up with the gas fees that got added, and the carry-on fee.

Folks will now be wearing a weeks' clothing on their backs and stuffing their jewelry in their underwear like when folks escaped Castro.

You're indeed right! What are those spaces for? I smiled when I saw a man sleeping there. Oh well,

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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